|Mayor of San Antonio|
June 21, 2017
|Preceded by||Ivy Taylor|
|Member of the San Antonio City Council for District 8|
July 1, 2013 – June 21, 2017
|Born||April 11, 1977|
Ronald Adrian Nirenberg (born April 11, 1977) is an American politician and the current mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He was elected following his defeat of the incumbent mayor Ivy Taylor in the runoff for the 2017 mayoral race. Prior to his election, Nirenberg served as a member of the San Antonio City Council for District 8 for two terms. He was sworn into office on June 21, 2017.
Nirenberg states he is of Eastern European Jewish descent (from Poland and Russia) on his father's side and of mixed Filipino, Malaysian, Indian, and British heritage from his mother’s side. Nirenberg's father met Nirenberg's mother while the couple was serving with the Peace Corps in Malaysia. His paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States before World War II, passing through Ellis Island. His Roman Catholic mother is half-Filipino and was born in Penang, Malaysia (then part of the colonial British protectorate of Malaya). His maternal grandmother was an Anglo-Indian mestiza born to a Scottish father and an indigenous Indian mother, while his maternal grandfather was a Tagalog-speaking Filipino musician with possible roots in Mindanao. Nirenberg, who is Methodist, was reared in the capital city of Austin, Texas. He has been a long-term devotee of weightlifting, having participated in the sport since he was fourteen. He frequently works out at the Barshop Jewish Community Center in San Antonio. He was on the wrestling team in high school, and for seven years, he competed as a strength athlete, having developed an interest in the sport from watching the syndicated television series, American Gladiators.
Nirenberg attended Trinity University in San Antonio and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania, from which he procured his Master of Arts in communications. After college, he was a program director for the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2017 San Antonio mayoral race
On December 10, 2016, Nirenberg became the first primary challenger to Ivy Taylor for her position as mayor of San Antonio. On May 6, 2017, the first round of voting was held, with no candidate reaching the required majority of 50% of the vote. Nirenberg and Taylor finished with the two highest vote totals and advanced to a runoff election held June 10, 2017. Although Nirenberg trailed Taylor in the primary vote, he went on to defeat Taylor 54.59-45.41%. In so doing, Nirenberg became the first person in twenty years to defeat an incumbent mayor of San Antonio who sought re-election.
Although Nirenberg ran for office as a nonpartisan politician (which is typical for San Antonio elections), he is considered to have a more progressive platform. In 2013, Nirenberg endorsed a city ordinance which bans discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Taylor, then also a member of the city council, voted against the ordinance. Taylor also opposed the city's filing of a lawsuit against the new state law which defines a misdemeanor offense for municipal officials who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities seeking to halt illegal immigration. Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, the law targets the sanctuary city movement. Nirenberg, conversely, backs the lawsuit.
As mayor-elect, Nirenberg called upon the city council to endorse the Paris climate accord though U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to remove the United States from the agreement. Nirenberg said that he has ideas of how to fund the accord: "I hope that as a community we will all agree that being driven by science and data is a good thing."
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